Most runners dread the hills. Who doesn't?
I've ran some races with famous hills like the Hayes Street Hills of the 12K Bay to Breakers in San Francisco and the Hurricane Point Hills in the Big Sur Marathon; and I can tell you those fearsome hills were true to form. But why is running uphill so difficult?
Running uphill causes you to shorten your strides. Shorter strides mean more steps to cover the same distance.You also push off more to raise your leg higher off the ground. Hence, your leg muscles work harder in a much shorter range than you're normally used to - which is running on the flats. A lot of runners choose flat races simply because even though they're in good shape to run, they're not prepared for the hills to climb.
How relevant is this in our own lives, too? We're comfortably cruising along life's road until we meet an uphill challenge. If you're not prepared, climbing a hill in life will fatigue you fast and discourage you easily.
Recently, as you know, I've been facing a tough hill in my life grieving over the loss of my wife to breast cancer. Even though I knew her death would come, I could never be totally prepared for my life without her. I was very helpless and weak after her death that I couldn't do my job properly or attend to my son's needs appropriately. But one thing I turned to to regain my strength was prayer.
Runners, though they dread the hills, prepare for hills. They work hill running into their training to condition their bodies to run the hills successfully. Like hill training, incorporate prayer in your daily life even in the most ordinary of things. Pray as you cook; pray as you drive; pray as you play; pray as you run. And when you run those hills, pray to God to strengthen you even more when you face the hills of life.